What Great Brands Do Differently
Updated: Nov 23, 2021
We all have a handful of favourite brands that we’re fiercely loyal to, that come first to mind when thinking about a particular industry and that spark conversations with others around us. But have you ever thought deeply about why you’re so passionate about them? What first captured your attention? And what continues to drive your preference for them above all others within their industry? A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to get you to that subconsciously faithful place, which we refer to as brand intimacy, and we’ve gathered some tools to help put your own brand on a similarly influential stage.
A clear message, mission + set of values
First things first, let’s get to grips with who and what your business actually is. If you don’t have clarity on your own intentions and the mark you want to make on the world, how can you expect others to understand and endorse your work? With lucidity and consistency comes power and the development of trust - a prerequisite for a strong brand in the making. The secret behind a compelling and robust identity is ensuring you nail your purpose, vision, mission and values.
You can ask yourself the following questions to check you’re on the right track:
Why do you exist?
What are you setting out to achieve?
Which principles guide your behaviour?
What does the future look like?
Once those are done and dusted, it’s time to establish a series of brand messaging pillars. These are topics to explore through your content and within which to develop an authoritative voice. While sharing these thoughts and dreams, it’s important to do so with a consistent language which your audience can get to know and feel closer to over time. Consider what kind of personality your brand would have if it were to come to life, and channel that character through your copywriting.
The power of storytelling
From the earliest records of human history, storytelling was a method used to communicate, educate and connect on an emotional level. It’s an essential human experience which not only brings people together and builds deeper relationships, but also helps listeners retain information, particularly when you give those heart strings a tug. As emotional beings by nature, we respond strongly to narratives that trigger our wealth of diverse feelings, and stories act as dramatic vehicles which carry the viewer along the journey.
Creating content that communicates what you stand for and your true purpose as a brand while provoking an emotional response which resonates with your audience is a fool-proof way to enable brand interaction and help consumers to remember fundamental details about who you are and what you’re doing. Moving people in some way will imprint your brand on their mind and is a pretty nifty shortcut to brand recognition!
To get you started, we’ve put together a few tips and tricks on how to tell your own brand’s story in a compelling and memorable way.
Adopt a customer-centric approach
The key to achieving long-term loyalty is developing a deep understanding of why your audience needs what your company provides and then prioritising those interests in the content you create. What are their underlying demands and the burning questions they’d like answered? Wave goodbye to a constant stream of sales- and promotion-driven content, and instead shine a light on how your product or service will provide value to enrich people’s lives and ensure everything you share either entertains, educates or inspires. Ticking these three boxes will help viewers to become the best version of themselves and subsequently drive an emotional closeness and level of trust towards your brand, with the knowledge that you have their best interest at heart.
Once you’ve established your value proposition, cue the arrival of your distribution strategy and how you’re going to push your message out into the digital world. If you’ve ever delved into the psychology field, you’ll know that there are three types of sensory receivers or learning styles which we all use to consume information, and while most of us will employ a combination of all three methods, there is very often one that dominates.
In order to maximise your chances for mass audience engagement with your brand, an all-powerful multi-sensory tool which covers all three styles is video content. A medium that is ever-increasing in importance, video is now considered by 94% of marketers to significantly increase user understanding of their product or service - a statistic we simply can’t argue with (source: Hubspot). Captivating viewers through impactful imagery, powerful audio and provoking a physical response through emotional power (think goosebumps and reaching for that box of Kleenex) increases cognitive engagement. This in turn encourages deep thinking; prompting your audience to consider the concept from different perspectives and develop empathy towards your brand.
Examples of brands bringing the storytelling ‘A’ game
To witness all of these effective techniques in action, we’ve gathered a few of our favourite campaigns which we believe showcase the essence of their brands in truly creative and poignant ways, and have found long-term supporters in all of us. Grab yourself some popcorn and enjoy the ride...